Poll predicts Kadima won’t make voting threshold

(JTA) — A new poll of Israeli voters indicated Kadima may not make Israel’s voting threshold of two percent in the upcoming elections. 

The poll, which the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot commissioned from the Mina Tzemach polling company and published on Friday, is based on the responses of 500 voters, and has an error margin of 3.5 percent.

Founded in 2005 by former prime minister Ariel Sharon, the centrist party is currently Israel’s largest party with 28 seats in Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

According to the poll, Kadima would not cross the threshold regardless of the whether Moshe Kahlon,  a popular former Likud minister, decided to form a new party ahead of the elections, set for January 22, 2012.

Kahlon, who this week said he is considering running, is expected to make his decision known next week, the daily wrote. If he does run, his new party would receive 13 seats at the expense of parties across the board, the poll predicted.

Kahlon may bite off five of Likud’s predicted 35 seats; two seats from Labor’s 24 and three seats from Yair Lapid’s projected 15. Shas, with 13 projected seats, and the rest of Israel’s Jewish religious parties would remain unaffected, as would the left-wing Meretz party and Israeli Arab parties.

Two weeks ago, Kahlon — a former communications minister who is credited in Israel with revolutionizing the communications industry to the consumer’s benefit — announced that he would quit politics.

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